Dexter Gordon: “Clubhouse” (1965) Japan

Track Selection: Devilette


Freddie Hubbard (tp) Dexter Gordon (ts) Barry Harris (p) Bob Cranshaw or Ben Tucker (b) Billy Higgins (d) Rudy Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, May 27, 1965


Recorded shortly after Dexter’s masterful “Our man in Paris”, “One Flight Up” and “Getting Around” Blue Note perhaps feared it would saturate the market with Dexter – though that never stopped them with Jimmy Smith. Languishing in the Blue Note vaults for a further decade and a half, found by Michael Cuscuna, these recordings were released to adoring Japanese fans in a Japan-only release “Clubhouse” by the superlative faultless quality pressing of the King Record Company, Tokyo in 1979.

Impeccable line up featuring strong performances from Freddie Hubbard and Barry Harris. Dexter’s liquid gold tenor never sounded more surefooted and sensuous. I don’t know what he thought of future directions for jazz, but it doesn’t look like he picked up on “free”,  and his move to Europe prompts the thought that he felt more appreciated doing what he was doing in Paris and Stockholm than in New York. Taste and try and see if you don’t agree (Warning! Does not contain nuts!):

Vinyl: GXF 3055 King Japan 1979, US release subsequently on LT 989

The choice of 47 West 63rd Blue Note label is an anomaly. Recorded in 1965, it would have been released on NY labels, or possibly even Division of Liberty. The Japanese are usually sticklers for accuracy, but apparently not this time. The cover is of course an inverted photograph, in the manner of the cover of Jackie McLean’s Action. For fun, the inverted image is seen in its original form, right.

8 thoughts on “Dexter Gordon: “Clubhouse” (1965) Japan

  1. Finally Pick up a Japanese King Pressing for 50 USD. Good price? Music is great. i think the Only other one I don’t have is landslide and I’ve seen that one on Ebay for 150 bones.

    • All good thing come to those who wait. 50 USD is a a very fair price for a King, esprcially of you have not incurred postage from Japan.. King carry a small premium over Toshiba, whose pressings are not as hot. Good score.

  2. I’ve never seen a Japanese Pressing for sale. One Of these days, I’m going to bite the bullet and Either get the Blue/white “B” pressing or the new cheapy. Muisc is so good. Love Dexter!!

  3. sadly I don’t have this one, but I’m gonna look for it.
    I’m a fool to want you is a ballad I really love:
    there’s another great musician out of the 50’s, who never entered the wild side of Free: Chet Baker played and sung this song beautifully on C. Baker in Tokyo.
    does anyone know this?

  4. This album finally appeared on CD in 2007 as a Rudy van Gelder edition. Check it out right here 😉

    I had the CD in my hand last week, but decided to leave it there, anticipating an upcoming sales week. Maybe it’ll be 50% off next weekend!

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